QOTD: clouds and control

A Wired interviewer asks Nick Carr when does the Big Switch from the desktop to the cloud happen?

Carr: Most people are already there. Young people in particular spend way more time using so-called cloud apps — MySpace, Flickr, Gmail — than running old-fashioned programs on their hard drives. What's amazing is that this shift from private to public software has happened without us even noticing it. [Q&A: Author Nicholas Carr on the Terrifying Future of Computing]

And about the balance between individual liberation and institutional control:

Carr: Computers are technologies of liberation, but they're also technologies of control. It's great that everyone is empowered to write blogs, upload videos to YouTube, and promote themselves on Facebook. But as systems become more centralized — as personal data becomes more exposed and data-mining software grows in sophistication — the interests of control will gain the upper hand. If you're looking to monitor and manipulate people, you couldn't design a better machine. [Q&A: Author Nicholas Carr on the Terrifying Future of Computing]

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